Yokosuka sailors in training, reflection period after arrest of U.S. seaman
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Navy leaders said Saturday that Yokosuka sailors are undergoing a period of intense training and reflection in the wake of the arrest of the USS Cowpens Seaman Olatunbosun Ugbogu in the killing of a taxi driver.
The military needs “to think about what we need to do to assure this type of thing never happens again,” Rear Adm. James Kelly, the commander of Naval Forces Japan, said during a news conference Saturday.
On Friday, Kelly and Rear Adm. Richard Wren — commander of Carrier Strike Group 5 — visited the ward office in Shinagawa where taxi driver Masaaki Takahashi lived and worked to offer apologies. The admirals promised to make further efforts in conducting stricter training, education and preventative measures.
Shinagawa ward leader Takeshi Hamano said Saturday that the Navy should apologize and pay sufficient compensation to Takahashi’s family, the ward office said.
Wren — addressing comments by Ugbogu’s attorney that the sailor said voices told him to stab the 61-year-old Takahashi — said the Navy “would certainly examine a person if we thought he had a problem.”
Kelly spoke of visiting Takahashi’s family to express sorrow in a private discussion that was emotional for both the family and Kelly.
Kelly said the curfew currently imposed at Yokosuka Naval Base and the Ikego and Negishi housing areas will remain in place throughout the weekend and be evaluated Monday.